THIS WEEK IN REVIEW: Monday, Dec. 3rd – Friday, Dec. 7th

THIS WEEK IN REVIEW: Monday, December 3rd – Friday, December 7th

Welcome to the last Viewpoints blog post of the semester! The Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period is two weeks away from closing and sign-up is currently down by 11% compared to 2017. Going along the decreasing trend, U.S. health care spending has decreased for the second year in row. Although health care spending added up to be a whopping $3.5 trillion—or $10,739 per person—it is still at a slower growth rate than the overall economy.

Now we’ll turn to health policy news in the states. On Thursday, a judge in Maine denied a request by the outgoing GOP governor to stay an order that the state implement Medicaid expansion. The court also extended a previous deadline it had set for enrollments in Medicaid expansion to begin from Dec. 5 to Feb. 1 – this will ensure that the new administration that supports Medicaid expansion will be implementing the law so that eligible individuals (about 70,000 people) will get the care they need. Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s new Democratic legislative leaders are pushing back against the CMS’s recent revisions to the state’s Medicaid work requirements program, arguing that the state had not asked for said changes. Lastly, Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature passed legislation on Wednesday to weaken the power of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, aimed at prohibiting the state from withdrawing from a lawsuit to repeal the ACA.

This week in the administration’s ongoing battle against Big Pharma, a bipartisan bill introduced by Chuck Grassley (R- Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) addresses a tactic used by drug companies to overcharge taxpayers. Drug companies, such as Mylan, intentionally misclassify certain Medicaid drugs in order to pay lower rebates, resulting in hundreds of millions more dollars paid by taxpayers.

In miscellaneous weekly news, the E. coli outbreak from a month ago is still racking up its infection rate to a record 52 cases—an increase of 9 people since last week. Also, we wanted to extend our condolences to the Bush family as our former 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, passed away last Friday.

Sadly, this will be the last blog post produced by the OG Viewpoints team, as we are graduating this month. Although we are passing the torch to the new team of health policy bloggers, we still want to thank our readers for sticking with us for almost a year and a half. We’ve really enjoyed giving you the most up-to-date health policy news every week! Remember to stay safe, warm, and vaccinated this holiday season!


Student Contributors on this Article:
Marissa Alvarez, Chad Fletcher, Shaina Haque, Virginia Wright